September is a bumper month for book releases, with lots of titles being pushed back from the Spring and Summer, and we'll be reviewing lots of new releases here. Due to the madness of school going back and associated routine changes, we managed to miss the release date for this but better late than never!
Stolen Lives is written by journalist Louise Hulland, and is an insightful and thought provoking look into modern slavery in the UK. The book combines interviews with survivors of modern slavery and people working within government organisations and charities with a presentation of the many forms modern slavery takes and the ways that it is perpetuated in society.
For me personally Modern Slavery is something that I didn't really know much about besides having seen the occasional advert about it. I hadn't thought about the extent to which it is prevalent in the world around me, and definitely hadn't thought about the fact that the car washes and nail bars that I pass on a regular basis, are likely to include people working in slavery. The way that Stolen Lives is written is very accessible and makes a tough subject easier to read about.
So many people are trafficked from all over the world for all sorts of purposes, from labour to sex work Stolen Lives really brings home the magnitude of this problem, and how easy it is to hide people in slavery in everyday life. It covers all different types of modern slavery, with dedicated chapters for different aspects, each including interviews from people working in the relevant areas, along with survivors stories for several. I love books that help me to learn about things and Stolen Lives is absolutely one of the best books I've read this year in this capacity. I really appreciated that although it's about a very hard subject, it doesn't feel hard to read. The way it is written is engaging, and there is a lot of focus on ways that change is (slowly) being made and the laws and practices that have come into force in the recent past, so that overall it motivates and inspires as well as being informative and at many points shocking.
If you're looking for something to teach you what Modern Slavery is and the forms it takes, as well as who it affects (spoiler - it's not all people from abroad, and it's definitely not always non-British people who do the trafficking) and how the legal system and charities work to tackle it, I'd really recommend grabbing a copy of Stolen Lives - you can order directly from the publisher here. Many thanks to Sandstone Press for providing a review copy.
We're looking for book lovers of all kinds to be involved with the Indie Book Network, helping us to raise awareness of and spread the love of independently published books. You can find out more here.